Up for sale, a 1996 Fender Richie Kotzen signature Telecaster model TLR-135RK in near-mint, 100% original condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original hardshell case and hangtags. A first-year example of the Kotzen model, this rare “Made in Japan” signature edition was crafted during the golden age of Fender Japan production. The Kotzen Tele features an ash body with a figured maple top, satin-finished maple neck with abalone dot inlay and a 12” fretboard radius, super jumbo fretwire, gold hardware, and USA-made DiMarzio pickups.
Kotzen is best known for his stints with Poison, Mr. Big, and the Winery Dogs, and his signature Telecaster model is a purpose-built instrument with a bold, articulate acoustic voice that translates well through the pair of DiMarzio pickups including a Chopper blade single coil-sized humbucker in the bridge position and Twang King single coil at the neck. There's plenty of rich humbucker authority and percussive single coil cut on tap, and this versatile configuration yields a dynamic array of tones. This Kotzen signature weighs 9lbs 3oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, low action and spot-on intonation.
The maple neck has a chunky U-shaped profile carve with tons of shoulder and lightly rolled fretboard edges, measuring .890” deep at the 1st fret and .985” at the 12th. The fretboard has a 12" radius, and the super jumbo fretwire only exhibits a hint of wear beneath the plain strings on the crowns of frets 1-8. This guitar plays cleanly up the 25 1/2" scale, and the neck is straight with a responsive, optimally adjusted truss rod. The nut measures a full 1 11/16" in width, and the headstock features Kotzen's signature and a set of gold Gotoh tuning machines with white pearloid buttons. The "Made in Japan" text and N-prefix serial are present above the four-bolt neck plate.
The electronics function as intended, with the pair of Dimarzio single coils wired to a Master Volume knob and two-way rotary Tone series/parallel switch which is only impactful when both pickups are engaged. The gold hardware still has plenty of shine, including the six-saddle brass bridge, control plate and knurled knobs.
The body has notably rounded edges, a prominent belly carve, and subtle forearm carve for added comfort. The transparent Seafoam Green gloss finish exhibits just a scant few tiny dings and faint finish scratches on the body as a whole. The satin finish on the neck profile is flawless.
The original Fender-branded black tolex hardshell case is included, along with the hangtags.